0301-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Lisa Senzel & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Big Easy

Themed answers are all associated with the BIG EASY (New Orleans), and there’s a BIG E and a BIG Z at the bottom of the grid:

  • 56A Nickname for New Orleans, celebrated by the answers to the starred clues and suggested by the shaded squares : BIG EASY
  • 5A *Gulf Coast waterway : BAYOU
  • 28A *Main drag of the French Quarter : BOURBON STREET
  • 34A *Celebration with king cakes : MARDI GRAS
  • 70A *___ Square (translation of “Vieux Carré”) : OLD
  • 1D *Cajun stew : GUMBO
  • 11D *St. Charles or Esplanade : AVENUE
  • 13D *2010-13 HBO series set shortly after Hurricane Katrina : TREME
  • 37D *Cajun shellfish-over-rice dish : ETOUFFEE
  • 40D *Music heard at Preservation Hall : LIVE JAZZ

Bill’s time: 8m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 *Gulf Coast waterway : BAYOU

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

10 Simpson family member who says “Get bent!” : BART

Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

14 Eye layer containing the iris : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

15 Reunion attendees, informally : ALUMS

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

17 Aspiring doc’s exam : MCAT

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

18 Imam’s holy book : KORAN

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

19 Campbell of “Scream” : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in the movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” that launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

The first installment of the “Scream” franchise of horror films was released in 1996. Each movie features a murderer who adopts the persona of “Ghostface”, a man wearing a mask that resembles the subject in the Edvard Munch painting “The Scream”. Even though the murderer behind the mask changes in each film, the victim is always Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell.

20 Sandwich known by its initials : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

23 ___ de plume : NOM

“Nom de plume” translates from French simply as “pen name”.

28 *Main drag of the French Quarter : BOURBON STREET

When New Orleans was founded by the French, the House of Bourbon was ruling France. Bourbon Street was named in its honor.

34 *Celebration with king cakes : MARDI GRAS

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

38 Eccentric : BATTY

The expression “bats in the belfry” meaning “mad, crazy” conjures up images of bats flying around Gothic bell towers, but actually it’s a relatively recent addition to our vernacular. The term is American in origin, and dates back only to the early 1900s. The concept is that someone who is “crazy”, with wild ideas flying around his or her head, can be described as having bats (wild ideas) flying around the belfry (head). The terms “bats” and “batty” originated at the same time, and are clearly derivative.

43 No power? : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

45 Singer Celine : DION

French-Canadian singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. She is now the best-selling Canadian artist of all time.

49 Foe of Austin Powers : DR EVIL

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

51 Wombs : UTERI

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

53 Bird in a gaggle : GOOSE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

54 Rapper Mos ___ : DEF

“Mos Def” is the former stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay, now known as Yasiin Bey. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars who is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003’s “The Italian Job” , 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and for a featured role in an episode of television’s “House”.

56 Nickname for New Orleans, celebrated by the answers to the starred clues and suggested by the shaded squares : BIG EASY

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

58 N.Y.C. airport : JFK

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

64 Harlem Renaissance writer Locke : ALAIN

Author and philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke was the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, and studied in Oxford and Berlin. Years later, Locke was the philosophical architect of what became known as the Harlem Renaissance, and indeed is often referred to as the Harlem Renaissance’s “Dean”.

“Harlem Renaissance” is the term used to describe a cultural movement in the 1920s that was known at the time as the “New Negro Movement”. The movement involved new cultural expression by African Americans that was centered mainly in urban areas in the northeast and midwest, and that was especially vibrant in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.

70 *___ Square (translation of “Vieux Carré”) : OLD

The oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans is the French Quarter, which is also called the “Vieux Carré (French for “Old Square”). After being founded by the French in 1718 as “La Nouvelle-Orléans”, the city developed around this central square.

Down

1 *Cajun stew : GUMBO

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

Cajun cuisine is named for the French-speaking Acadian people who were deported from Acadia in Canada to Louisiana in the 18th century.

6 Baseball family name : ALOU

Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

7 Steppes dwelling : YURT

A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.

8 Actor Epps : OMAR

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. He is good friends with actor and comedian Marlon Wayans. Epps and Wayns were classmates at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

9 Annapolis inst. : USNA

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. It was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

10 Actor Platt of “Dear Evan Hansen” : BEN

“Dear Evan Hansen” is a 2015 stage musical about a young man with awkward social skills and his efforts to make friends.

13 *2010-13 HBO series set shortly after Hurricane Katrina : TREME

“Treme” is an HBO series set in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. The show deals with the rebuilding of lives and culture after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

2005’s Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest hurricane in US history since 1928, with over 1200 people perishing in the event itself and in the subsequent flooding.

21 Screenwriter Ephron : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

22 Former Italian money : LIRA

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from the British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

29 “Hang on a sec,” in texts : BRB

Be right back (brb)

30 Singer Anita of the swing era : O’DAY

“Anita O’Day” was the stage name of jazz singer Anita Colton. She chose the name as “O’Day” is Pig Latin for “dough”, a slang term for “money”. O’Day had problems with heroin and alcohol addiction leading to erratic behavior, earning her the nickname “The Jezebel of Jazz”.

32 Some NCOs : SGTS

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

35 Plastic pipe material, in brief : PVC

PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the third most widely produced plastic in the world (after polyethylene and polypropylene). PVC is resistant to corrosion from biological and chemical agents making it a favored choice these days for sewage lines, replacing the traditional metal materials. It is so chemically stable that it will be around a long, long time …

37 *Cajun shellfish-over-rice dish : ETOUFFEE

Étouffée is a Cajun and Creole dish made with shellfish, the most famous version being Crawfish Étouffée. Étouffée is like a thick shellfish stew served over rice. The dish uses the cooking technique known as “smothering” in which the shellfish is cooked in a covered pan over a low heat with a small amount of liquid. “Étouffée” is the French word “stifled, smothered”.

41 Colorful pond fish : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

42 NBC hit since ’75 : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

47 Actress Messing : DEBRA

Debra Messing is most famous for playing Grace Adler on the television series “Will & Grace”.

48 ___ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

49 Uno + uno : DOS

In Spanish, “uno y uno” (one plus one) makes “dos” (two).

52 Ice house : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

54 Twilight time : DUSK

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

55 Fencing event : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

57 ___ Grey tea : EARL

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

62 Popeye’s Olive : OYL

Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up, Olive Oyl was the main character.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yaks : GABS
5 *Gulf Coast waterway : BAYOU
10 Simpson family member who says “Get bent!” : BART
14 Eye layer containing the iris : UVEA
15 Reunion attendees, informally : ALUMS
16 “Never Have I ___” (Mindy Kaling Netflix series) : EVER
17 Aspiring doc’s exam : MCAT
18 Imam’s holy book : KORAN
19 Campbell of “Scream” : NEVE
20 Sandwich known by its initials : BLT
21 Not taking sides : NEUTRAL
23 ___ de plume : NOM
24 One-up : OUTDO
26 “Yay, me!” : I RULE!
28 *Main drag of the French Quarter : BOURBON STREET
34 *Celebration with king cakes : MARDI GRAS
35 Chick’s chirp : PEEP
38 Eccentric : BATTY
39 Varieties : ILKS
43 No power? : VETO
44 “Absolutely!” : YES!
45 Singer Celine : DION
46 What nephology is the study of : CLOUDS
49 Foe of Austin Powers : DR EVIL
51 Wombs : UTERI
53 Bird in a gaggle : GOOSE
54 Rapper Mos ___ : DEF
56 Nickname for New Orleans, celebrated by the answers to the starred clues and suggested by the shaded squares : BIG EASY
58 N.Y.C. airport : JFK
61 Psyched about : UP FOR
63 Once around the track : LAP
64 Harlem Renaissance writer Locke : ALAIN
66 “Later!” : SEE YA!
67 Mine find : ORE
68 “I put the sing in single” singer : LIZZO
69 Ship’s backbone : KEEL
70 *___ Square (translation of “Vieux Carré”) : OLD
71 [Wrong answer!] : [BZZT!]

Down

1 *Cajun stew : GUMBO
2 Pop culture site created as a supplement to The Onion : AV CLUB
3 Arrive at ahead of : BEAT TO
4 Parked oneself : SAT
5 Prepare, as a king cake : BAKE
6 Baseball family name : ALOU
7 Steppes dwelling : YURT
8 Actor Epps : OMAR
9 Annapolis inst. : USNA
10 Actor Platt of “Dear Evan Hansen” : BEN
11 *St. Charles or Esplanade : AVENUE
12 Uprising : REVOLT
13 *2010-13 HBO series set shortly after Hurricane Katrina : TREME
21 Screenwriter Ephron : NORA
22 Former Italian money : LIRA
25 Empty, as a purse : DUMP OUT
27 Lives (in) : RESIDES
29 “Hang on a sec,” in texts : BRB
30 Singer Anita of the swing era : O’DAY
31 Evening, in ads : NITE
32 Some NCOs : SGTS
33 Attempt : TRY
35 Plastic pipe material, in brief : PVC
36 ___ sauce (sushi roll topper) : EEL
37 *Cajun shellfish-over-rice dish : ETOUFFEE
40 *Music heard at Preservation Hall : LIVE JAZZ
41 Colorful pond fish : KOI
42 NBC hit since ’75 : SNL
47 Actress Messing : DEBRA
48 ___ Lanka : SRI
49 Uno + uno : DOS
50 Queenly : ROYAL
52 Ice house : IGLOO
53 Stared in wonder : GAPED
54 Twilight time : DUSK
55 Fencing event : EPEE
57 ___ Grey tea : EARL
59 Soda’s pop? : FIZZ
60 Shoelace or muscle problem : KNOT
62 Popeye’s Olive : OYL
65 Women’s ___ : LIB

10 thoughts on “0301-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 22, Tuesday”

  1. 6:03 Thought I didn’t much about NOLA specifics, but the crosses helped a lot. Grid also looks like it has kind of a grin to it. Happy Fat Tuesday!

  2. 21:23 – this ate me alive with PPPs and I’m not good enough to get the crosses.

    BEN, NEVE, TREME, ALAIN, LIZZO, BZZT killed me in NE and SE corners.

    Congrats to those who excelled!

    Oh well

    Be Well

  3. 10:29 it becomes apparent to me that as time goes on, my disconnect to literature and streaming television will make it more difficult to solve crossword puzzles. Solution: read People magazine… Not really🤣

  4. 8:11. Very fitting theme on this Fat Tuesday. There’s probably not another city anywhere that I’ve visited more times than New Orleans, but it’s been a while since the last time I was there.

    Wish I was in New Orleans today, although locals will swear the Jazz Festival at the end of April is the best time of year to be in New Orleans. I guess Mardi Gras isn’t for locals.

    I used to love crawfish ETOUFEE until I had a bad batch of crawfish (I think). I haven’t been able to eat it since.

    On a sad note, two of my favorite restaurants in the world were in New Orleans. Both have closed due to the pandemic. Upperline and Delmonico. I’ll have to stake out new eateries next time I go.

    Best –

  5. Like others, didn’t know much about New Orleans culture.

    ETOUFEE was a tough one. I Google it. Man oh man, I would love to try some of that. But I love seafood anyway so when it comes to dishes like this, I would try it in a heart beat!

    No errors today but it wasn’t a typical Tuesday puzzle.

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